For no fault of her own: The rape, the aftermath

Published: July 5, 2013
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A minute-to-minute account of rape, based on true stories of survivors.

A minute-to-minute account of rape, based on true stories of survivors.

A minute-to-minute account of rape, based on true stories of survivors. A minute-to-minute account of rape, based on true stories of survivors.
KARACHI: 

A minute-to-minute account of rape, based on true stories of survivors.

7:30 am

She swings on her burqa as she downs the thick, sweet chaai in one gulp. The foreman will create a scene if she’s late again today – without Amma, gone to a shrine in interior of Sindh to pray for her marriage, to wake her up, she tends to oversleep.

She steps out of the house with a prayer. Her steps become quicker as she passes them in the alley. Lurking, leering, they kiss the air as she walks past. One of them growls, “Never any time for us, haan?”

Head bowed, heart thudding, she walks right past them.

She does this every day – checks the spring in her step, curbs the sway of her body, makes sure she is covered from head to toe. None of it is a deterrent.

8:00 am

On the bus, she finds a seat in the women’s section. Sinking down, she counts the number of days until her mother comes back. Four days, an eternity.

5:30 pm

She is back at home, in the courtyard, when the nightmare begins. She first sees their faces peering over the wall, then hears the thuds as they jump into her house. Instantly, she makes a mad dash for the only room in the house, bolts the door and repeats a prayer over and over again. The prayer isn’t enough. The door gives way at one kick, and the man leading the pack, the same man who glares at her everyday as she crosses her street, knocks her to the ground.

A swift kick in her face silences her momentarily. But when she hears their laughter at her moaning, she starts screaming again: “Help me, somebody! Please, for the love of God!” Her neighbours are at home – surely, someone will save her.

“If you don’t shut up now, we’ll also kill you,” one man tells her softly, leaning over so that she can smell the alcohol on his breath.

One by one, they rape her, raining punches on her ribs, clawing her face. She passes out.

7:00 pm

She regains consciousness as they splash water on her face.

“Next time, we’re coming in through the door,” one of them says before exiting. “Breathe a word of this to anyone and you’re dead.”

Her only response is a whimper.

7:30 pm

She lies still for some time after they’ve left. Tears roll down her cheeks. Her body feels destroyed.

Finally, she gathers herself up.  She is shivering, no longer just with pain, but with rage, and whispering, through gritted teeth, “I will not let them go” over and over again.

She puts on her burqa, and leaves for a friend’s house a few streets from hers.

The next day

The woman from the NGO, is encouraging. Even though she took a shower soon after she reached her friend’s house, washing away most of the physical evidence, the worker assures her that her case is still strong.

They go to the police to record a formal statement.

“You must have encouraged them in some way,” says the thaanedaar. “Don’t tell us that you’re an angel.”

However, her helper refuses to back down from recording a statement, and makes phone calls that galvanise the police officers into action. Even so, it takes them 7 hours at the police station to get the FIR recorded. It is 1:00 am at night, but her exhaustion melts away when the NGO worker tells her that these men will be behind bars one day.

Next week

“She has already lost her izzat (honour); now they are threatening to kill her,” her mother tells the NGO worker. “I can take her to the village and get her married off. No one needs to know what happened.”

“But she has a strong case,” is the response.

“It is up to her. But if she wastes her life on this case, she will not get married.”

She listens listlessly. How could she have thought that she could win? Her life has already been destroyed, does she also want to shatter her mother’s dreams, perhaps put her life, at risk? She looks at the woman who got her through this, “I don’t want to pursue this case.”

This account is based on three almost identical, real accounts of rape

Source: WAR, families’ of survivors

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Shumaila Khan
    Jul 5, 2013 - 9:55AM

    A woman’s honour is not related to her virginity status.What is our society’s obsession with female virginity? This mentality of only marrying virgin girls is what encourages rapists in our country,they know the woman they rape will never report her rape or pursue her case in the courts because that will mean that she never gets married.
    This rape encouraging obsession with female virginity must end if things are to change for the better in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 5, 2013 - 10:06AM

    I am really sorry and ashamed to be a Pakistani man.

    Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2013 - 10:14AM

    Stone Till Death…. You do one of them publicly, this won’t ever occur. I had tear in my eyes reading this account, feel ashamed to be a Muslim man. This is not what our religion teaches us. I pray the victim gets the best, what left in their life!

    Recommend

  • Mir
    Jul 5, 2013 - 10:16AM

    A women in Islamic world is an object to use. When a women is rapped she should have four witness who have seen the actual penetration. Where in the world she will invite four witness to watch when she is rapped. Now a days DNA testing is the basic evidence, we are living in 21st century, fallow the new inventions and up date the law with current satiation.
    Or live in the 6th century.

    Recommend

  • usama
    Jul 5, 2013 - 11:56AM

    @ Mir,

    The four person witness rule is for someone who accuses someone for adultery it’s not for rape victims. Read a book before commenting.

    Recommend

  • Muzammil Ahmed
    Jul 5, 2013 - 12:58PM

    She steps out of the house with a prayer

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  • Isha
    Jul 5, 2013 - 2:03PM

    Usama,
    Do read accounts of such cases before commenting. Most of the rape victims are accused of adultery, with the culprits arguing that the intercourse was consensual. So, in order to prove that the woman was actually raped, she needs to bring in eyewitnesses!!

    Recommend

  • Faiz
    Jul 5, 2013 - 3:25PM

    These people dont know their status on the judgement day.

    Recommend

  • Marriam Awan
    Jul 5, 2013 - 3:47PM

    It’s very bad state of affairs.. a woman having met with such circumstances may not be able to find any security in social life.. may thr be such strict laws in our Society tht all the women feel protective even while walking in streets or roads..!Recommend

  • ashar
    Jul 5, 2013 - 4:16PM

    Another story to invite negative comments and initiate a debate against Islamic rule and laws.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Jul 5, 2013 - 4:48PM

    In China, there is a capital punishment on rape and attempt to rape, Chinese women are very modern ,fashionable,can walked at 2 pm night on the street, nobody can even see them with bed eyes, there is no religion , only rule of Law, no men are there like animal we have in Pakistan.
    In Pakistan 90% men are animal, they dont love their wives, even having a wife they are always after other women,
    I feel shame ,being a Pakistani man, but now not living in this jungle.

    Recommend

  • Arsal
    Jul 5, 2013 - 4:55PM

    Another great example of our sleeping nation! Proud of it

    Recommend

  • Sara
    Jul 5, 2013 - 5:22PM

    There goes a another case of Rape i told you there are mullions of them….. am are reported in media rest no one really bothers about them…..i have already told that we have to give the courage to the female to stand up for there rights …………FOR HOW LONG ARE we going to bare this nightmare NOW small kids are being raped by this animals ……. PLEASE it my request to all the females to fight for the rights and standup it’s time to standup. Muslims are like a building in which one brick is attached to other…..learn your rights what Islam has given us.. don’t let these animals Rome around like this DON”T they have mothers, sisters and wife’s can’t they really think if this could happened with their own Females. PLEASE STANDUP FOR OUR RIGHT IN ISLAM…..

    Recommend

  • Soraya
    Jul 5, 2013 - 5:23PM

    Shame on our nation where we allow serious crimes as Rape to continue unpunished.
    How much can a woman be expected to suffer? To suffer Rape, then suffer the fact that the culprits get away unpunished?

    Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi
    Jul 5, 2013 - 6:02PM

    @ashar:
    You are a person who is always looking for imaginary conspiracy theories. You were the one who defended the four witness rule in this newspaper’s comments section so why worry that the rest of the world sees us as barbarians.
    @E.T Please allow me to respond to someone who is spreading misconception.

    Recommend

  • Kh
    Jul 5, 2013 - 6:27PM

    @Muhammad Rizwan Ali:
    So where do u live in US where out of every 6 child one is molested

    Recommend

  • Midhat
    Jul 5, 2013 - 7:54PM

    @Mir:
    One has to bring forth 4 witnesses when he/she accuses someone of adultery. This is to stop people from wrongly accusing someone.

    Recommend

  • hamza khan
    Jul 5, 2013 - 7:54PM

    @Shumaila Khan:

    so girls should have premarital sex you’re saying?

    Recommend

  • SZQ
    Jul 5, 2013 - 8:16PM

    Thanks @Midhat. Clearly there are so many women who are going around crying false accusations of rape in this world that we must protect these innocent men. What a joke of a law!

    Recommend

  • ashar
    Jul 5, 2013 - 9:08PM

    @Talha Rizvi:

    Please don’t use the word us or dont include me in it. You want to be barbarian so be it. I am civilized, cultured, modest, with high moral and respect for women as my religion has taught me. I am a Muslim, don’t care who you are.

    Those who condone unnatural relationships like LGBT, drink wine on the roads and desire that no one should stop them, want to utter every nonsense in the name of freedom of speech, and do what ever they like without allowing any body to stop them in the name of personal freedom are going to convert their lives to barbarianism, us not, we know how to live modestly.

    @E.T Please allow me to respond to someone who is carrying misconception.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 5, 2013 - 9:39PM

    @ET: How many comments of mine you will discard and wont publish. Am i suggesting harsh punishments for rape attackers ? Is death sentence and public trial is bad thing for such rascals. Why you delete my comments which i posted in the morning. Was it due to the fact that i offended the person (who allows/reject comments) by speaking truth regarding the rascals who do the rape…

    Recommend

  • Mubashir
    Jul 5, 2013 - 9:49PM

    Even for rape cases in the West some rapists accuse the one raped as lying and terms it as consensual but the court decides if it really was.

    Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi
    Jul 6, 2013 - 12:27AM

    @ashar:
    You are clearly mistaken but then such is the mentality of people like you. If anyone tries to show you your true face you immediately accuse him of being a westernized person/yahoodi agent. Don’t worry I’m not ashamed to be a muslim or a Pakistani but it is people like you and your friends in JI/JUI/JUD/LJ/LT/JeM who think that Pakistan is an abode of Kufr and we must be converted to the true faith of your oil rich masters.By the way you proclaim yourself in those having respect for women but people like you have openly opposed the DNA ruling. As per your comments you have also questioned the term shia genocide and asked ET to stop reporting on the harassment of Ahmadis.There is no further use in arguing with people like you as you are clearly obstinate in your rigid thinking.
    By the way I will not harp on my ‘respectable muslim background’ like you because this is a sign of hypocrisy which sadly most religious people practice openly.
    @ E.T: Please allow me to respond who has quiet openly accused my character and accused me of things I’m not.

    Recommend

  • Moiz Omar
    Jul 6, 2013 - 4:20AM

    I am right now very ashamed to be Pakistani. What was wrong with the police? Blaming the victim? And 7 hours to lodge the FIR? And her mother, how has your daughter lost her izzit? She has not. SHE IS A VICTIM!

    Recommend

  • kanwal
    Jul 6, 2013 - 5:46AM

    @ET
    Why is the person moderating comments here is allowing people like @ashar to spread idiocity? Freedom of speech is one thing and ranting is quite another.

    Recommend

  • Mir
    Jul 6, 2013 - 12:04PM

    @Usama

    Under Islamic law, rape can only be proven if the rapist confesses or if there are four male witnesses. Women who allege rape, without the benefit of the act having been witnessed by four men who subsequently develop a conscience, are actually confessing to having sex. If they or the accused happens to be married, then it is considered to be adultery.

    Recommend

  • Mad
    Jul 6, 2013 - 1:28PM

    So where is cjp, where are the suo moto actions. We need justice in these cases not those that give publicity.

    Recommend

  • BankRobber
    Jul 8, 2013 - 1:41PM

    When it comes about the question of rape,torture & illegtimation-hummilarion of every-sort, a friend of mines’ saying start colliding with my tempenic membrane.” If we would keep eglitraining for secularity,sensuality and sickism at the name of our racial empowerty, there will remain under such deprivity, which is actual reward of that mind-set..”
    Like, if we would take a glare on Mohajir-population if Karachi, whole nation is being raped psychologically, by a single crazy guy, without any external sympathy left to be shown. Now, what that whole nation would do..?? Yea off course they would do rape into their own families and neighbours.. A single shot solution should be sorted out for such crazy leaders arround, which has made this society their entertainment place…

    Recommend

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